Making creme brulee for 2 is super easy. Creme brulee (French for “burnt cream”; pronounced “krehm broo-LAY”) is a French dessert consisting of a rich creamy custard topped with a thin layer of crunchy hard caramel, quickly created by burning sugar under a broiler or a kitchen torch. Creme Brulee is served cold in individual ramekins. The keys to the perfect creme brulee recipe are simple: lots of yolks for richness, granulated sugar, but we recommend turbinado or Demerara sugar, for a crunchy top, a digital instant-read thermometer to help you know if the custard is done, and an overnight chill for the best texture. | Video
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 4 teaspoons granulated sugar or Demerara sugar
You’ll need: ramekins, kitchen torch, and digital instant-read thermometer
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a small wet towel on the bottom of a baking pan and arrange two 6-ounce ramekins. In the meantime, boil water.
2. Combine 1 cup cream, sugar, and salt in small saucepan and bring the mixture until hot but not boiling over medium-low heat, stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks after the cream has finished steeping; if the yolks are left to sit, the surface of the yolks will dry and form a film.
3. Whisk yolks in medium bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk in vanilla extract, and about 1/4 cup cream mixture into yolks until combined; repeat with another 1/4 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until thoroughly combined. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl and discard solids in strainer. Ladle the mixture into prepared ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
4. Carefully place baking pan with ramekins on oven rack; pour the boiling water into the pan, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches two-thirds height of ramekins. Bake until centers of custards move slightly when ramekins are gently shaken or the instant thermometer reads 165 degrees F, about 30 to 40 minutes. Check 5 minutes before the recommended time.
5. Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover the creme brulee tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
6. Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, pat lightly with a paper towel on the surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle the top of creme brulee with a thing layer of turbinado sugar, tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage, and lightly shake off the excess sugar. Ignite torch and caramelize the sugar. Serve. (If you don’t have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar caramelize. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes.)